Live Streaming by Jeffrey Benson - HTML preview

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Introduction

What is streaming media?

In a nutshell, streaming media are multimedia (e.g., text, audio, and video) that are

transmitted through various telecommunications channels (e.g., phone lines, radio

signals, and the internet) to end users who, in turn, receives the media in a form

which they can readily/instantly view, hear, or read. With streaming, people don't

have to wait for the media to be transmitted fully or load completely before they can

see, hear, or read it... portions of the transmitted media become viewable and

audible the moment they are received by a telecommunications/multimedia-

playback device (e.g., radio, television set, and computer).

If you paid close attention to the examples of telecommunications/multimedia-

playback devices, you might have already gotten the idea that streaming media is

nothing new. Well, you can't be any further from the truth! It's not new to the

internet either. Remember RealPlayer? Now, we have sites like Metacafe, YouTube,

Vimeo, and Veoh that offer streaming videos. In addition to that, we also have

countless internet radio sites that stream radio programs over the internet.

But, and that's a really big 'BUT', due to technological advances, streaming media, or more specifically, streaming video, has recently been experiencing rapid growth and

gaining tremendous popularity among internet users and it continues to do so right

at this very moment as evidenced by various video sharing and search sites

sprouting all over the web like mushrooms.

Live Versus Archived

Streaming videos come in two types. One is these is the archived/pre-recorded video.

This is the type that most video-sharing/streaming sites (like the ones mentioned

earlier) are offering and is currently the more popular of the two. With streaming

archived videos, users can watch their favorite shows at any time they want. In

other words, archived/pre-recorded videos can be viewed "on-demand".

The second type is the live streaming video. When we talk about live streaming

videos, we are talking about REAL-TIME. And this is what we are really going to talk

about here.

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Live streaming video has, time and again, been pitted against archived video with

"live" being seen as the underdog every time. Analysts cite video quality as one of the areas in which live streamed videos fail tremendously. In addition, live streamed

videos are also seen as lacking in flexibility such that viewers must tie their schedules to the presentations' airing time to be able to watch it, and they have to watch them

entirely or risk missing out on some details.

But, let's take a look at this from a different perspective...

If you've been to sites that offer live streaming videos, you might have noticed that a lot of them have a "chat box" alongside the video frame. THAT enables you, as a broadcaster, to be in touch with your audience on a personal level (just as your

audience can communicate with each other) in real-time.

Just imagine all the possibilities that can come with that! You will be able to

understand your audience better and get new ideas from them. You can also

instantly give answers and clarifications to their queries. And, since everything's

happening in real-time, you will be able to modify your presentation at a moment's

notice to suit your audience better. Now, this changes the definition of "flexibility"

quite a bit, doesn't it?

And no matter what the comparative studies are currently showing, with

technologies advancing as rapidly as they are, we can only expect live video

streaming to get better quality-wise over time.

The Future of Internet Video

According to a forecast on global IP traffic released by Cisco in August 2007, video

will contribute to a 21% compound annual growth rate in business IP across wide

area networks from 2006 to 2011 as high-speed broadband connections become

more commonplace. Along with that, the bandwidth consumed by internet/online

video streaming and downloading will grow from 9% of all internet traffic in 2006 to

30% in 2011.

A more recent article on http://www.readwriteweb.com (by Sarah Perez, published in September 8, 2009) says that online video consumption will be measured in

exabytes by 2017. An exabyte, by the way, is equivalent to one billion gigabytes or

one quintillion bytes.

With those kinds of projections, it's fairly safe to assume that online video sites in general, particularly those that are currently already established and popular, will

continue to grow, and rapidly at that, in terms of garnering more traffic and

membership registration. This includes live video streaming sites which are said to

have increased in demand among users in early 2009, an event with which Ustream

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coincided its release of its premium service called Watershed.

So, should you use live video streaming sites and utilize them in your marketing

campaigns? I seriously doubt you'd answer negatively after having read all that.

There's no doubt that leaving your presence on those sites, either through links or

advertisements, will expose you and/or your organization to an ever-growing

audience.

Now, let's take a look at some live video streaming websites, shall we?

Ustream.tv

It's been referred to as “like YouTube, only way more interactive”. Ustream.tv is a live video broadcasting/streaming website that enables anyone who has a computr, an

internet connection, a digital video camera, and a microphone to create their own

channels and broadcast their videos to a global audience, all in under two minutes.

And with the site's “one-to-many” model, users are enabled to broadcast their video

LIVE to tens of thousands of people simultaneously.

Ustream.tv started out (in 2006) with a noble purpose of helping those who are in

U.S. military service and who are assigned in different parts of the world to keep in

contact with their friends and families. As its popularity grew, its list of

users/broadcasters has come to include some of the biggest names in the world of

politics, entertainment, business, and IT.

The site earns revenues from advertising, sponsorship, and premium services.

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Registering for a Ustream.tv Account

Go to http://www.ustream.tv and click on the Sign Up link at the upper right corner of the page (beside the Broadcast Now button). In the registration window that

appears, under New Account, enter your details as required and click on the Submit button.

After that, you will be required to fill out your profile information (First Name, Last Name, Gender, Country, and Zip Code). Go right ahead and fill them out and click on

the Submit button when you're done.

Next, you will be given an option to import your contacts from your Hotmail and/or

Gmail mail accounts, as well as to link your Twitter account to your Ustream.tv

account. To do so, simply provide the necessary information. Otherwise, you may

skip this step by clicking on the Skip this step link at the bottom of the form.

You'll then be presented with a page with a text box on it in which to enter your

show's name, fill that one out. Under the text box, there are two buttons, one is the

Save My Show button which, when clicked, will take you to the show settings page.

On the other hand, the Broadcast Now button, when clicked, will instantly put you and your show “on air”. Take your pick.

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If you chose to click on the Save My Show button, you are enabled to upload a show logo, specify your show's category, provide tags and description for your show,

customize your shoe's design, modify commenting and chatting options, and

schedule events for your show, among many others.

Dropping Links on Ustream.tv

First, you need to log in to your account. So, for that, go to http://www.ustream.tv, click on the Log In link at the top of the page, and enter your log in information in the log in window that appears.

Once you're already logged in, click on your username located at the top of the page.

Then, click on the Preview Profile link at the bottom of the profile editing page.

On your Profile page, click on the Comments link.

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Then drop your URLs in the Add your comment box. Use the code below to turn

URLs into links:

<a href=“http://www.yourURLhere.com”>your keyword here</a> Click on the Comment button when you're done.

Your links should be displayed as shown in the screenshot below.

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Advertising on Ustream.tv

Ustream.tv does not provide anywhere on its site any specifics regarding advertising

opportunities. It does provide, however, an email address labeled “For Sales and

Advertising” on its contact us page.

For those who are wanting of advertising opportunities, Ustream has another

service which can surely help you. It's called Watershed.

Watershed is a groundbreaking premium technology platform from Ustream that

enables organizations (large and small) to broadcast live video with their own

private label branding. It offers users with a unique set of tools, services, and pricing schemes that includes the following features:

 Fully customizable pages that enables broadcasters to create an unlimited

number of broadcasts and channels based on their products, services, and

other offerings. Broadcasters are also enabled to include their logos, color

schemes, and advertising.

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 Pay-as-you-go pricing scheme in which broadcasters only pay for the

bandwidth they've actually used.

 Easy-to-manage privacy options that includes user authentication, locking

streams to specific URLs, password protection, IP address specification, and

maximum viewer number limiting.

 Detailed reporting and monitoring providing organizations with access to

advanced data analytics and dashboard reporting that enables them to track

usage and viewership and analyze the performance of their broadcasts in real-

time.

The Watershed registration process is very similar to that of Ustream. To register for a Wayershed account, go to https://watershed.ustream.tv/.

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Ustream.tv Site Statistics

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Justin.tv

Justin.tv claims itself to be the leading LIVE video streaming/broadcasting site on the web, boasting of more than 41 million unique visitors every month and 428,000

channels broadcasting video.

The site's live video broadcasting platform is developed by a team of MIT and Yale

graduates and is capable of supporting massive audiences. It has been proven to

push more than 177 Gbps of video at peak usage which is equivalent to 16,946

standard DVDs per hour.

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Registering for a Justin.tv Account

Go to http://www.justin.tv and click on the Create Account link located near the top right corner of the page.

On the New Account form that appears, fill out the required information (e.g., your login/username, password, birthday, and email). Enter the word verification and

click on the Sign Up button when you're done.

You'll be automatically logged in to the site afterwards, ready to use your Justin.tv

account.

Dropping Links on Justin.tv

First, you need to be logged in to the site. If you're not yet logged in, head on to

http://www.justin.tv and click on the Sign In link at the top of the page. Fill in your login details in the login window that appears and click on the Sign In button.

Once you're already logged in to your account, move your mouse pointer over your

username at the top of the page until the tab expands.

Click on Profile.

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Drop your URLs in the comments box. URLs must be in the following format:

http://www.yourURL.com or www.yourURL.com (HTML tags won't work) Click on the Send button when you're done.

Your links should appear on your profile page as shown below.

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Advertising on Justin.tv

Taking pride in having over 4 million registered users, 389 million monthly

pageviews, and 41 million monthly unique visitors, Justin.tv offers advertising and

sponsorship opportunities to people and companies looking for ways of promoting

their products and services, providing them with the opportunity to reach and

engage with an interactive global audience.

Among the various custom ads and sponsorship opportunities that the site offers

include custom video player skinning, broadcaster tool sponsorship, portal

sponsorship, featured broadcaster sponsorship, brand integration in channel pages,

custom homepages, custom homepage buttons and latest video picks unit, and text

links. Available ad slot sizes (in pixels) are 300 x 250, 125 x 125, 200 x 90, 468 x 60, 728 x 90 (leaderboard), and 160 x 600 (skyscraper).

Ads are displayed on various pages of the site. These include the site's home,

directory, news, networks, and channel pages, as well as on user's profile pages.

Sample ad slots are shown in the table below.

Channel

Directory

Homepage

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Networks

News

Profile

Justin.tv Site Statistics

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Stickam.com

Stickam.com is a free live video broadcasting/streaming and social networking site.

It claims itself to be the pioneer in providing live interactive video streaming services on the Net.

On April 13, 2009, Stickam.com became the first site to enable users to view LIVE

streaming videos of their Stickam.com friends through their Java-enabled mobile

phones (including the T-Mobile G1). Stickam.com calls this service the “Stickam

Mobile Viewer” which is actually an addition to its “Stickam Mobile” service. “Stickam Mobile” was launched half a year prior (on October 13, 2008) and came only with

broadcasting capabilities.

Registering for a Stickam.com Account

Go to http://www.stickam.com and click on the Join link near the top of the page.

On the New Account form that appears, fill out the required information (e.g., your desired username, email, password, gender, date of birth, and channel). Enter the

word verification and click on the Join Now button when you're done.

Check your email afterwards and click on the activation link contained threin.

Upon activation of you account, you will automatically be logged in to Stickam.

You will be offered to invite your friends by importing email addresses from your

address book on Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL. You may skip this step by clicking

on the Skip This Step button at the bottom of the page.

Dropping Links on Stickam.com

You need to be logged in to be able to do this, so if you're not yet logged in, head on to http://www.stickam.com and click on the Login link near the top of the page. Fill in your login details in the Member Login window that appears and click on the Log In button.

Once you're already logged in, click on the Edit Profile button located somewhere on the left side of the page.

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In the Edit Profile page, under the General Information tab, drop your URL in the

Message and Live Message boxes.

Use the code below to turn URLs into links:

<a href=“http://www.yourURLhere.com”>your keyword here</a> Click on the Save button when you're done.

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To view your profile and see the links you've posted, move your mouse pointer over

Home and click on My Profile.

Your links should appear on your profile page as shown below.

Advertising on Stickam.com

Taking pride in having over 3 million registered users, with 4.8 million daily

pageviews and 2.5 million unique monthly visitors (of which 80% are from the US

and Canada, with 74% of that from the US), Stickam.com is offering advertising and

brand marketing opportunities to people and companies who are seeking for ways

of promoting their products and services.

Stickam.com offers ad placements on its home, featured profile, and casting call

pages, as well as in its monthly newsletter. Available ad sizes are leaderboard (728 x 90 pixels), wide skyscraper (160 x 600 pixels), and medium rectangle (300 x 250

pixels). Samples of ad slot sizes and placement are shown in the table below.

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Casting Call

Featured Profile

Homepage Takeover

Newsletter

Leaderboard

Medium Rectangle

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Wide Skyscraper

To advertise with Stickam.com, go to http://www.stickam.com and click on the Advertise with us link at the bottom of the page and fill out the form at the bottom

of the Advertise on Stickam page.

Stickam Site Statistics

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Livestream.com

Livestream.com refers to itself as “the most powerful broadcasting platform on the

internet”, priding itself as having over 10 million unique viewers each month and

introducing several groundbreaking innovations.

Livestream offers its services in two flavors, one is the Free account which is ad-

supported, and the other is the Premium account which has no ads and adopts the

“pay-for-usage” model.

Livstream enables users/producers to create (through a single player widget) LIVE,

scheduled, and on-demand internet television and broadcast them to a world wide

audience. In addition, users are enabled to broadcast live using a mobile phone and,

as in the case of Premium membership, develop a branded channel page.

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Dropping Links on Livestream.com

First, you need to register for an account. And for this example, we are going to

register for a FREE broadcaster account.

Go to http://www.livestream.com and click on the Sign Up link located at the top right corner of the page.

Click on Broadcast.

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On the Launch a Channel page, enter your desired Channel Name and Short Name (the short name will be used as part of your channel's URL) and click on the

Launch Free Channel button.

In the Sign Up form, supply the required information (e.g., First Name, Last Name, your desired Username, your email address, your desired Password, your date of birth, and your gender). Enter the Spam Protection code and click on the tick box labeled Fine Print.

Click on the Sign Up button when you're done. You should then be already logged in automatically after registering.

Now to drop your links. While still on the congratulatory page, scroll down to the

bottom of the page and click on the Account Center link under Check Your Email.

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You will be presented with a tip on how you can use Livestream. Click on the Skip -

Go to My Account button.

Under the My Channels tab, click on the Configure button for your channel.

Fill out the form as desired and drop your links under the Channel Page section, more specifically in the Links portion. To drop your link, click on the Add New Link button beside Links.

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Enter your link anchor text (displayed text) for your link in the Link Title box, and your URL in the Link URL box.

Click Save Link afterwards. If you want to add more links, click on the Add New Link button again after you've saved your link.

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Note: The following fields are needed to be filled out before you can successfully save your configuration: Category, Rating, Time Zone, Language, Country, and Description. These are all under the Channel Info section.

When you're done filling out the form, click on the Save Changes button at the

bottom of the form/page...

...and click on the 'Check' button.

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To see your channel and the links you've attached to it, simply click on your

channel's name under My Channels tab in the Channels page.

You should see your links in the Links section at the bottom of your Channel's page right under the advertisement.

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Advertising on Livestream.com

Livestream allows users to insert/embed pre-roll, mid-roll, and post roll ads in their produced content, provided that they have registered for a Livestream Premium

Account and so long as their advertisements do not violate any “Prohibited Uses”

restrictions as provided in Section 4 of the sites Terms of Use.

Livestream.com Site Statistics

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BlogTV.com

BlogTV is a free live video streaming/broadcasting site that enables users to share

their talents and opinions LIVE with a world wide audience. The site takes pride in

winning a couple of awards that include the GSM “Best Made for Mobile” award in

Barcelona and the GMCA “New Trend Leader” award at the Seoul digital forum.

One needs only to have a computer, an internet connection, and a webcam to be able

to use BlogTV to broadcast one's self, build a fanbase, and feel like a star!

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Dropping Links on BlogTV.com

First, head on to http://www.blogtv.com and register for an account.

To register for an account, click on the Sign Up button in the upper right hand portion of the page.

Supply all the required information in the Join Us form that appears (e.g., Username,

E-mail address, Password, Country, State, Birth date, and Gender).

Enter the Security Code and signify your agreement with the site's Terms of Use by clicking on the tick box.

Click on the Go for it button when you're done.

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Check your email afterwards and click on the activation link contained therein. You

should already be logged in after this.

Once you've activated your account, you're ready to drop your link. Remember that

you need to be logged in to do that.

To drop your link, click on the your username located at the top of the page.

On the left part of the page, near the bottom, you will see a My Links section.

Click on the Edit link that corresponds to My Links.

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In the My Links window that appears, simply enter the anchor text of your link

(displayed text for your link) in the Name box and your URL in the Link box. Then, click Add.

To add more links, just fill in the boxes again with your other link details. BlogTV

allows you to enter up to 10 links.

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Click on the Save and Close button when you're done.

To see the links that you've just dropped, either reload the page by clicking on the

refresh button of you browser OR click on your username again (at the top of the

page).

Your links should appear as shown in the screenshot below.

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Advertising on BlogTV.com

BlogTV.com does not mention any specifics with regards to the procedure of how

one can advertise on the site. However, the following message can be found in the

Media Inquiry section of the site's FAQs:

If you think your company or business deals in areas that may interest the

blogTV.com community please send an email using the online Contact Us

form...

BlogTV.com Site Statistics

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BlogStar.com

BlogStar.com is a free internet television network and social networking site that

enables users to create, record, edit, remix, interact, and webcast live media to a

world wide audience from the comfort of their browsers.

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Dropping Links on BlogStar.com

First, head on to http://www.blogstar.com and register for an account.

To register for an account, click on the Sign up link located near the upper right

corner of the page.

Supply all the required information under Sign up (e.g., login/username, password, Email address, Date of birth, and gender).

Enter the verification code and click on the tick box to signify your agreement to the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Click on the Sign up button when you're done.

Check your email afterwards and click on the activation link contained therein. You

should already be logged in after this.

Once you've activated your account, you're ready to drop your link. Remember that

you need to be logged in to do that.

To drop your link, click on the Edit link beside your username located at the top of the page.

On the My Private Profile page, click on the edit your account link located on the right portion of the page.

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Under the Display Information section, drop your link in the Homepage/Blog box as well as in the Description box in the following format:

http://www.yourURL.com

Fill out the rest of the form as desired and click on update my account when you're

finished.

To view your profile and see the links you've dropped, click on your username at the

top of the page OR click on the View your public profile link on the right portion of

the page

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. Your link(s) should appear like the ones seen in the screenshot below.

Advertising on BlogStar.com

BlogStar.com does not provide any specifics with regards to the procedure of how

one can advertise on the site. However, the site does provide an email address

(bizdev@blogstar.com) with the “Advertise with us” anchor text which can only

mean that they offer advertising slots on the site.

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BlogStar.com Site Statistics

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Veetle.com

Veetle.com is a free live streaming video site used by millions of users hailing from

over a hundred different countries. It provides users with an “end-to-end” solution

that consists of video production, video transcoding, scalable streaming

infrastructure, browser-based video playback, viewership statistics reporting, and

monetization via ads, sponsorship, and subscription.

Veetle.com prides itself of being able to deliver live video in HD quality without

limiting the number of viewers watching a particular stream.

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Dropping Links on Veetle.com

First, you need to register for an account. To do so, go to http://veetle.com and click on the Register link located at the upper right hand corner of the page.

On the create your account page, simply fill out the form with the required

information, signify your agreement to the site's terms of use, and click on the Create account button.

After that, you should already be logged in and ready to start using your Veetle.com

account.

Veetle.com allows you to place your website's link on your profile. To do so, click on your username located at the upper right corner of the page.

On your edit profile page, enter your URL in the My blog or Website box (e.g.,

http://www.mywebsite.com), fill out the other fields with the necessary information, and click on the Update Profile button.

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To view your profile, simply click on the View My Profile link under My Account on the edit profile page.

Note that your profile may be viewed by anybody even if they are not logged in to

Veetle. Shown below is a sample of how a public profile looks like (with the url

highlighted). Unfortunately, Veetle does not display URLs in hyperlink form, as you

can see below.

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Veetle.com Statistics

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Smotri.com

Smotri.com is a free Russian video repository, video sharing, and live video

streaming site which provides users with easy means of broadcasting themselves

and their works, LIVE or otherwise, to a world wide audience.

With regards to uploading videos, Smotri.com allows users to upload only a

maximum of 180 minutes' worth of video every month.

Some words of caution when using Smotri: Although the site tries to filter out

sensitive contents shown on the site, some still manage to get displayed.

Dropping Links on Smotri.com

Smotri.com allows users to post links in their comments, but before you can post a

comment, you are required to register for an account first.

To register for an account on Smorti.com, go to http://smotri.com and click on the Registration link located inside the login box on the upper right corner of the page.

On the Registration page you will be presented with only one text box in which you

are asked to enter your email. Do so and click on the Send button.

On the following page you will be allowed to choose/modify your Login name, your Password, and your Nick. Do as you desire, enter the registration code, click on the tick box below the Agreement to signify your agreement to it, and click on the

Send button.

After that, you should be automatically logged in to the site and ready to start using your account. But be sure to check your email for a message from Smotri.com as

you are required to verify your email with the site.

Now, to post a comment. Remember, you need to be logged in to Smotri to be able to

do that.

Click on a user's username (seen beside the thumbnail of their video) anywhere on

Smotri.com (on the site's homepage, the videos page, video blogs page, etc.). The

sample below shows the videos page, the highlighted texts are the users' usernames.

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This will take you to the user's profile page.

Drop your links in the Add comment box of the user's profile page and click on the Add button.

Both http://www.mywebsite.com and www.mywebsite.com will work. Posted URLs are automatically converted to clickable hyperlinks as seen in the screenshot below.

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Smotri.com Statistics

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LiveVideo.com

LiveVideo refers to itself as a “customizable” video streaming community. The site

allows users to search, watch, upload, and share videos for free. In addition, it also has the “LiveShow” feature (also offered for free) which, as the name suggests,

enables users to produce their own live programming/shows and broadcast

themselves LIVE. With LiveSHow, users can broadcast playbacks of pre-recorded

videos, host interactive shows, and hold video conferences, among many others.

When a user views someone's LiveShow channel, he can participate in the

program/show by either enabling his own webcam or chatting in the chatroom. By

enabling one's webcam during a LiveShow program, he/she enables other users to

drag him/her along with other webcam-enabled users into available webcam

windows. Also, the broadcaster/producer can drag chatroom members into the show

window and make them part of the show.

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Dropping Links on LiveVideo.com

First, you need to register for an account. To do so, go to http://www.livevideo.com and click on the Sign Up link located at the top portion of the page.

In the Sign Up form that appears, enter your desired Username, Password, and your email address. Enter the verification code and click on the tick box to signify that you are over 13 years old, then click on the Sign Up button when you're done.

You will then be given an option to invite your friends either by importing the

address books of your Hotmail, Yahoo, and/or Gmail email accounts OR by specifying

email addresses. You may skip this step by clicking on the Skip for now link at the bottom of the page.

Check your email after and click on the verification link contained in it to validate

your email address and confirm your account.

After that you should be already logged in (automatically) and ready to use your

account.

Now, to drop links. Remember that you need to be logged in before you can do that.

Click on the Profile tab located near the top of the page.

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In the Who Is box click on Edit or the Click here link.

Drop your links in the About Me box...

...as well as in the interests and hobbies boxes.

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Use the code below to turn URLs into links:

<a href=“http://www.yourURLhere.com”>your keyword here</a> Fill out the other fields as desired and click on the Update button at the bottom of the page when you're done.

Posted links will appear as show in the screenshots below.

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Other places to drop your links in is the Blogs and Comments boxes (as also seen above).

LiveVideo.com Statistics

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